AREFS taide ja kulttuuri ry
AREFS art and culture association

  • Savon Radan ryhmä organizes activities along the historical Savo line


Panorama of the landscape in Haukivuori, created by children in class 3 (2011-2012) during THIS IS OUR NATURE

TÄMÄ ON MINUN "TAKAPIHANI" - THIS IS MY BACKYARD is a challenging art and poetry program for children to explore and express, in collaboration with parents, their nature, landscape and environment.
Through art and poetry children explore new forms of expression. They experience interaction between art and nature and develop their creative and language skills in a challenging ambiance.

From the past the landscape is the base of human civilization. It is the landscape that offers conditions to develop community life. The diversity in nature, climate and geology is the source of diversity in cultures. Every environment has its own conditions and by soiling it, the land gets its more specific characteristics, it influences the roots of the community. The landscape is source of life, history, stories, reality and coherence.

AREFS' publication (2012) TÄMÄ ON MEIDÄN LUONTOMME - THIS IS OUR NATURE gives the first review (2010-2012) on the innovative art and art education program THIS IS OUR NATURE through child art, professional art, landscape photography and articles. It is a contemporary document of the region with a unique historic meaning.

TÄMÄ ON MINUN "TAKAPIHANI" - THIS IS MY BACKYARD is a new part of AREFS' main art program THIS IS OUR NATURE. This innovative and experimental art and art education program initiates and develops new strategies for strengthening rural awareness. As the landscape is part of one's identity, it creates the condition of one's view on reality. The rural landscape of small villages is an important base for young children. It is their nature and they are part of it. Through exploring, collecting, documenting, photographing, discussing, printing, painting and describing their own 'backyard' children are invited to imagine and express their personal environment in an experimental way. Collaboration with their parent(s) is a source of new reflection on their individual view.

TÄMÄ ON MINUN "TAKAPIHANI" - THIS IS MY BACKYARD is based on series of experimental art workshops and supervised by professional artists and poets. During summer holidays 2013, autumn 2013 and winter 2014 10 sessions are planned on different locations in small rural villages. During series of workshops small groups are working intensively together and with artists from the region and abroad to collect information about their environment, to document and map it. They observe, register, draw and photograph their own environment. By collecting visual and verbal information, and searching individual essential values, children will select the forms and text which they can use to paint, print and write. Parent and child work together and assist each other in this process. They are involved in the way others are experiencing their environment and how they are working with different materials to express the meaning of their roots. The different small collective art activities are challenging children to embed their nature experiences into their personal view on reality. The information gathered will be used in their paintings, poems, collages and prints and per group bundled in small handmade books with a limited edition. Finally the different collective works will map and document the region from the unique point of view of children.

The results of the workshops will be part of a future manual for art education which is related to the book TÄMÄ ON MEIDÄN LUONTOMME - THIS IS OUR NATURE.

children 6-14 years and their parent(s)

small villages like Rämälä, Hiirola, Haukivuori

artists and writers with specific expertise in the field of child art and poetry

spring 2013 - winter 2014

project funding 2013-2014:




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No reproduction by any means or in any language without prior permission of the author.